You’ve got to meet Speedy.
At a hefty 23 and a half pounds, the gopher tortoise is one of the largest in captivity, but what I found most unusual – and charming – about him was his personality. His favorite colors are pink and red, because they remind him of the flowers he eats. He prefers being indoors instead of out. And when he was set free on the floor he immediately crawled up to me – and straight into my heart!
Speedy lives at the Sandoway House Nature Center in Delray Beach, along with other animals that include a stingray (named Ray-Ray), a corn snake (named Maizey), numerous sharks, a macaw, turtles, fish and more.
The center, located in a historic 1936 beachfront home, features a family-friendly glimpse into South Florida's fragile marine and freshwater environments. Besides all the cool animals, it features native plants, a world-class shell collection and a boatload of educational programs including:
· Shark Feedings
· Guided Historic Tours
· Nature Walks
· Astronomy Nights
· Summer Camp
· Special events (like Earth Day)
· Turtle Walks
· Fossil Digs
Want to be clobbered by cuteness? Check out this video of the Sandoway House – and super-sweet Speedy!
The Sandoway House (142 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach, 33483, 561-274-7263) is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The prices won’t leave your wallet wailing, either. Admission is only $4 per person!